Attaching smart lights to your home network is a quick and convenient way to get energy efficient lights which adapt to your needs into your home. They’re great for enhancing a mood, easily dimmable and can be used in conjunction with your home security to come on at times which make it look as if someone’s home even when you’re out. But being Smart, they must be able to do more than that, right?
If you’re syncing your lighting to your home security it makes sense to add a motion sensor to your lights too. Inside or outside, the motion detector will turn the lights on wherever you want, so if you’re coming home on a wet & drear night you can have the porch light turned on to save fumbling, or sensors which turn on CCTV cameras can turn on bedroom lights, alerting you to potential intruders and sending the message to those lurking on your property that you’re aware they’re there. These little touches make it look like you’re home and awake even when the property is unoccupied.
Smart lights are controlled by apps and smart switches rather than traditional wall switches. That means that you can add stick-on switches wherever you feel the need without additional wiring. That’s as well as adding them to the smart home system which allows you to turn them on by voice command or app.
Adding lighting and lighting control to your Google Home Assistant is simple. Simply plug the lights in, go to your Google Home Assistant’s ‘Add devices’ menu and choose the lights’ icon. You’ll have then to assign them an identity such as “Room Light” or “Desk Lamp”. The lights will then appear under ‘Home Control’. The process for adding lights to Amazon’s Alexa is almost identical, and equally self explanatory.
Play with the lighting
As well as controlling your lights yourself you can also add them to your entertainment and gaming systems so that they add atmosphere to the action. It works by analysing what is going on onscreen or in audio and adjust the colour of the lights accordingly. So if you’re a fan of backlighting adding an extra dimension to the onscreen action or enjoy a bit of a light show when you’re listening to your favourite tunes this is a simple way to turn your home just a little bit more disco!
Behind the Scenes
As well as dimming and colour changing, there are many many different ‘scenes’ to choose from too. With third party apps which are available for download you can create a romantic mood, or get the party started with multicoloured strobes. Enhance bedtimes with mood lighting to fit the scene or make Halloween the spookiest ever with lightening effects.
Just Like Daylight
It’s been found that waking up naturally with the sunrise is one of the best ways of waking up and getting the most out of your morning. Unfortunately we live in houses which are overlooked, meaning curtains or blinds are needed for privacy. We have street lighting outside our windows which shines in all night, again needing blinds to block it out. This means that few people today have the luxury of leaving the curtains open in order to get the suns light in the morning. The alternative is lighting which will come on gently, getting brighter and brighter. Nobody likes it when they’re trying to sleep and someone puts the lights on and this app mimics the dawn instead perfectly.
Of course you can do exactly the same thing in reverse too. If kids will only go to sleep with the light on it’s a nice idea to put the lights on low when you tuck them in and slowly get dimmer as time progresses so they eventually get a restful night in darkness.
Different coloured lights are not only good for mood and creating and atmosphere. There are plenty of other reasons for using coloured lighting around the house. Not least of these are for people with partial sight or eye related conditions. If you’re normally sighted you’ll appreciate good lighting, but some conditions mean that bright light is intolerable, while others are helped with coloured light. Especially if that light can be used to enhance contrast. If you find it difficult to pick out the edges of things different coloured lights can help you, making stairs, doorways, chopping boards and a range of other every day challenges far easier to cope with.
Stay Up To Date
It’s not only alarms you can be alerted to. It’s easy to sync your lights to your social media, email etcetera so when you get a message the lights can dip, change colour or flash. If you’re hard of hearing or you want your phone on silent, but still want to be kept abreast of incoming notices then this is a much better option than having to keep checking your phone.
Along with your personal message alerts you can get alerts for a range of other activities too. Synch your lights to weather reports or the news and you can have the lights change when there’s rain in the air or a particular subject you’re interested in is reported on in the news.
It’s not just external events you can get alerts via your lights for. Using your lights as timers, for the oven, a show you don’t want to miss as soon as it’s broadcast, timing tests and homework can all be done with a simple setting.
If you’ve ever left the house and, twenty minutes later had to go back to check that you’ve turned all the lights off you’re not alone. Smart lighting lets you check, and turn the lights off and on from anywhere via your phone. You can turn them off automatically using a geofence which detects when your phone moves from location to location, and have them come back on again when you’re on your way home.
Most of these tips and skills can easily be installed by yourself via apps, but some of the devices require installation. If you’re interested in what Smart Home Automation can do for you around your home get in touch with Briant Communications on 01273 465377 for a free, no obligation consultation and price estimate.